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Color Psychology Defined: How to Pick the Best Color for Your Business in 3 Easy Steps

From flowers to fashion, color is all around us. And color plays a big role in business branding & identity, of course.

If you’re building a personal brand — or the brand of a business or organization — the colors in everything from your logo to the clothes you wear can impact the thoughts, decisions and opinions of clients or customers. A small tweak in color could alter the way a customer clicks on your “buy now” button (or misses it) or even picks up your product from the shelf, be it virtual or within the walls of your brick and mortar store. You can stand out with color.

In three easy steps we can determine the best color for your personal brand, business or organization. Whether you’re just getting started and have to pick brand colors for the first time, or you’re about to go through a brand refresh, it’s time to nail down the best color for you.

Here are three questions to consider:

  1. What’s My Favorite Color?
  2. What’s the Best Color for My Ideal Audience?
  3. What Does My Brand Color Mean? (We’re talking color psychology.)

Time to dive into the first question. (We’ll discuss the other questions — and share even more color tips and examples — in future posts in this blog series.)

What’s My Favorite Color?

Start asking yourself this question. Or, go straight in the opposite direction to ask: What colors do I hate?

Hate is a strong word but let’s face it. You might determine the best color for your brand is pink. You’re target audience loves pink, and pink works for your industry.

Love or Hate the Color Pink?

ALL the pink!

But you hate pink.

You don’t have to explain it. You just have a distaste for a certain color. Well, it might seem trivial, but whether you’re building your business every day and just working a side hustle, you will be thinking about your brand a lot. You will be looking at you website and creating visual content for social media often… And, of course you’ll be incorporating your brand color(s) a lot (if you’re smart).

This doesn’t mean you can never change or tweak your brand colors. Nor does it mean that everything rests on a color you may choose today. That’s a lot of pressure!

But you’ll be staring at your color a lot. You’ll be using this color. And if you wear your brand color (not uncommon), you will have a wardrobe of it!

Even if your brand color is your favorite color, you will get tired of it before your audience does. You will tell yourself it’s time for a brand refresh because your audience must be getting tired of it… But remember, they aren’t looking at it as much as you are.

You should keep your logo and brand colors for awhile — possibly forever — for brand consistency and recognition. Can you imagine if Target stores dropped the red?

Bottom line? You have to live with what you choose. You have to love and like — or at the very least tolerate — your brand colors.

So while you don’t have to pick your favorite color (please don’t if it doesn’t align with your customers and niche at all), you definitely should NOT pick a color you hate even if that color seems to be the perfect color for your brand.

Let me know what you think: Can any color work for any brand? Can you see working with a color that you despise while building a brand you love?

Kickstart Your Visual Content Marketing Without Delay

No designer on staff. No funds to contract one, not even for a single project. And you think you have zero creative bones in your body. It’s no problem.

I’m going to share the fastest way to kickstart your visual marketing in the new year or to launch a new brand at any time FAST — no design skills required.

Now if you have your social media marketing plan in place and are chugging along, creating great content and graphics, then you can skip this post.

But if you’re like me, you don’t have your whole act together. You’re ready for a fresh start with a simplified action plan. But all the new goals, resolutions, suggestions, and to-do lists quickly pile up once again. Overwhelm hits once again.

You know visual marketing is an important part of your business, but you’re back to square one. Where to begin?

Well, it’s time to move forward. No marketing plan to set up. No strategy session first. You don’t need a logo — or even a “complete” website — to start marketing your business.

In a perfect world with lots of time and money, I would tell you to hire a designer to set up a style guide. Create a logo if you don’t have one. But only after you’ve researched your target market to get a feel for their favorite movies and restaurants. And you are following your competitors and constantly on top of everything that’s happening in your industry, right?

The list of things you could do goes on. And you should do these things at some point. But for now, I quote my man, Mark Twain. He said “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” (Hint: That’s the when. Just jump on in. NOW!)

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. —Mark TwainClick To Tweet

I heard 2014 was the year of video. 2015 the year of live streaming. And 2016 seems to be the year of membership communities. It doesn’t matter what’s next… Whatever you’re doing or selling, you need more eyeballs. Marketing is here to stay. And visual marketing will get you there faster.

Why visuals? Check out these 16 eye-popping visual content statistics by Larry Kim over at Inc. magazine. His bottom line? Visuals are effective because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly.

Okay, so now you might be wondering how? How do I jump into any kind of visual marketing without design skills or a designer on staff?

I’m not suggesting you jump in completely blind with zero plan, of course. But a general idea is all you need. You don’t have to have everything lined out. Nothing will ever be 100% and you will never launch. It’s best to start, and then adjust along the way.

The easiest way to do this, is to pick one social media platform and one color to brand yourself.

I’ve mentioned both of these ideas before, suggesting Instagram is the first place to turn regarding social media. And I’ve outlined some thoughts on the best color for your business, too.

If you’re not a fan of Instagram — or know already that your target market is more prevalent elsewhere – then all means go with what works. The method is simply to simplify. Start small and focus on one.

And if you don’t believe in the power of color, just head over to your local Target store wearing a solid red shirt. Let me know how long it takes before you’re questioned by a customer. All the employees wear read so everyone around will think you work there, too.

Yes, typography and photography and layout and “feel” and so much more can contribute to solid visual content and make your graphics stand out. All of these elements come together and help shape a memorable brand, but nothing works as fast as color. I feel so strongly about this in branding/business, I’ve started to dive into the psychology of color.

And while a multi-color scheme can work, I suggest one color — once again as part of a quick and simple process. It’s easier and quicker to select one color and run with it. It’s also easier to add additional colors or pick a completely new color scheme in the future, should you find your initial choice isn’t working.

Practicing what I preach, I use orange in my own @boldbrandfast branding and green in my apparel startup, Avocado Shirt Co.

Have you chosen ONE social media network and ONE color to represent you, your brand or your business?

Unleash Your Visual Marketing Power

Back when everyone was shouting “content is king,” they forgot one important word.

Visual.

Indeed, visual content is king.

While the right words can empower us, uplift us. Even sway us… Nothing gets our attention like well-designed visual content.

Take a quick look at the somewhat brief history of social media. The Facebook algorithm will change before you finish reading this blog post, but note the trend. The social media giant has moved from giving more precedence to words then to images and now to video.

Instagram and Pinterest — two social media networks with an emphasis on visual content — both grew (and continue to do so) at incredible rates. While descriptive text on these platforms should not be overlooked, I suspect the sharing of images, which are displayed with priority, had/has something to do with the success.

Oh, and Twitter, while still constraining us to a limited character count, first welcomed images to the stream then got into the video game with Vine and now Meerkat, touted as a possible game-changer for elections.

It’s all because images (and video) speak louder and faster than words.

Power of Visual Marketing

All Hail Visual Content!

So “visual marketing” and “visual content” and the like are not new terms. But the aim of this blog is to put a fresh spin on all things visual.

The goal is to share the best secrets and professional tips to small business owners and online entrepreneurs, helping in three areas:

  • Developing a visual marketing strategy.
  • Creating engaging visual content.
  • Building a bold brand.

Do this and you will rise above the clutter — above your competition — and stand out as an expert in your industry. Then doing what you do best will be a whole lot easier.

Hang on… And get ready to unleash the power of visual marketing.

What questions do you have about visual content, visual marketing strategy, or design?